The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the seventh round of the 12-race season, the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix on Sunday.
The entry list features 34 cars spread across three WeatherTech Championship classes. The Prototype (P) class has 14 entries, GT Le Mans (GTLM) has eight entries and GT Daytona (GTD) has 12 entries for the two-hour, 40-minute race.
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will be televised on FS1 on a delayed basis beginning at 4 p.m. and will be carried live by IMSA Radio on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio. Tickets are available now on CanadianTireMotor sportPark.com.
Of 68 drivers on the provisional entry list, 25 of them have at least one previous victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park since 1999.
Jan Magnussen is the driver in the field with the most CTMP victories with six class wins. The driver of the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R first won there in the American Le Mans Series GTP class in 1999 and his most recent was a WeatherTech Championship GTLM win in 2014. Another Corvette driver, Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 machine, is a four-time winner at CTMP.
Corvette Racing is far and away the winningest team at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with an astonishing 11 total victories at the venue. It won its class five years in a row in ALMS competition from 2001 through 2005, then had a run of three in a row from 2007 through 2009. The team’s most recent win at CTMP came in 2014 when Magnussen and Antonio Garcia won the GTLM class in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R.
Dane Cameron and Eric Curran each are carrying two-race win streaks at CTMP into the weekend, as they shared the Prototype and overall victories in each of the past two years in the No. 31 Action Express Racing entry. This weekend, Cameron will go for his third straight alongside new co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPI, while Curran is sharing the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R with Felipe Nasr.
Scott Sharp, who co-drives the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi with Ryan Dalziel, has three previous victories at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, including an overall victory in 2009 in an Acura LMP1 race car.
CORE autosport – which fields the No. 54 ORECA LMP2 car for Jon Bennett and Colin Braun – owns four PC class victories and also took a GTLM win with its Porsche GT Team program in 2015. Bennett and Braun are three-time winners in the PC class at CTMP.
It’s been 19 years since No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT driver Dirk Mueller won his first and only race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The German took an ALMS GT win there in 1999.
Gustavo Yacaman, who drives the No. 52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier LMP2 machine, scored his only WeatherTech Championship victory to date at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, winning overall and in the Prototype class in the OAK Racing Nissan LMP2 car in 2014.
Porsche is the winningest manufacturer at CTMP with 15 class victories, but Chevrolet is right on its heels. The Bowtie Brigade has 13 victories on the ultra-fast Canadian circuit.
Lexus Looks For Podium
Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is the only one of the 12 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races held in Canada, which makes it a unique event for all involved with the series.
It will mean a little bit more for Lexus, 3GT Racing and driver Kyle Marcelli.
A year ago, Sage Karam put the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 on the GT Daytona (GTD) class pole position, breaking the existing GTD track record on the lightning-fast, 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit with a lap of one minute, 16.563 seconds (115.637 mph).
That’s an accomplishment in itself, but what made it even more special was the fact that it was the first WeatherTech Championship pole for the Lexus program, which began competing in the series at the start of the 2017 season.
“It’s really where our momentum started last year,” said Lexus Motorsports Manager Mark Egger. “We had the first pole for Lexus, the track record with Sage Karam behind the wheel, and since then we’ve been able to build on the momentum.”
The program has built even more momentum. Jack Hawksworth has driven the No. 15 Lexus to two of the last three Motul Pole Awards - at May’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio and at Watkins Glen.
Corvette Racing has a pair of cars competing in the GT Le Mans class in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix in Canada.
Lexus Racing is looking for a solid run in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.